Friday, July 13, 2007

What a lot of old Potter

Reading station may not have enough platforms, but it does have ten, which is why I was getting quite irate at having to wait outside it at midnight last night. When we eventually got into the station and I finally got off and began to wait for my connection to Pangbourne, I heard one of the station staff say that the reason the train couldn't use any of the other platforms was that work was being done on the line.
Does that also explain why we had to wait outside Paddington station at one o'clock this afternoon? Why am I always sitting on trains outside platforms, is it simply that work is always being done on the line, or is it a lack of staff, or simply bad management?
I have another theory. In the middle of the night, when the ghosts are abroad, I think the line is cleared for the Hogwarts Express, and assorted ghost trains, leaving us mere mortals on First Great Western crawling along in the dark, slowly losing our minds.
I'm afraid that the late shifts might be taking their toll on my sanity, but I would like to know the answer to this question. Why are the late trains always so badly delayed when there's so little traffic at that time of night?


MML Dan said...

You see that's where your unfortunate. The Great Western Mainline gets *alot* of freight, and, obviously, as it is an intercity line, it is mostly run at nightimes. Also, so lines don't have to be shut during the day, engineering work which closes lines is done overnight.

Plus the Hogwarts Express needs to leave.

I hate FGW said...

Ah, I knew there'd have to be a reasonable explanation, but I still prefer the idea that there are a load of trainee wizards on their way to magic school somewhere in Berkshire. They'd probably put it in Slough, no-one would bother looking for it there. (Sorry Slough residents)

gezkc said...

You could be onto something there, with wizardry causing these night time delays.
Paul Daniels lives in Berkshire after all, though he's closer to Reading than Slough.

Now that's magic!

Ollie said...

It's worth noting that although Reading has 12 platforms (1,2,3,4,4a,4b,5,6,7,8,9, and 10) only 4 of those platforms are through platforms (4,5,8, and 9)

I would agree late at night you get held outside alot, I certainly do on my way home. But you also find you end up rolling in to Reading either on time, or about 2mins late.

Couple options really:

1) There actually isn't a platform available.
2) Signallers are running the train to the second, so if it's early, they hold it outside.
3) Also there is the movement of empty stock because of Reading depot.

An example for no3 is the 22:45 Paddington - Swansea which has the 23:19 arrive in to Platform 4b from Reading Depot cross it's path on the mainline.

just my input on it, possible I'm completely wrong.